The first time I visited The Gambia was in March 2009 for my Easter Holidays, I first visited The Gambia with my dad, mum, gran and brother Neil. My Dad who is the founder of the charity had been visiting The Gambia for about twenty nine years before this visit so he knew a lot about all the tourist destinations and where to take us.
When we first landed in The Gambia I was really excited, I can remember when the plane doors first opened and I could feel the desert head sweeping through the plane. Once we went through the airport security and left the airport we met with Alasan who is major part of the charity. Alasan lives in The Gambia and keeps an eye on everything which happens at the school such as keeping a note of all the food and when it gets used and taking pictures of the kids at the blackboards thanking people for donations whenever we aren’t in The Gambia.
Alasan met us at the airport and took us to the villa which we were staying at. The villa we stayed in was very nice but it was upsetting to see a big villa right next door to a shack smaller than my bedroom which had five people living in it. It made me realise how much I have and how grateful I should be for everything I have.
On one of the first days we got to The Gambia we went to the beach, when we were on the beach we seen a lady doing very tight braiding to another ladies hair a little bit like dreadlocks but to her own hair. I really liked what they were doing so my mum asked the lady if she would be able to do my hair and she said yes so I sat on the beach and got it done, it took a couple hours to do but it was worth it in the end as it looked very Gambian and I was pleased with it.
We went for two weeks so we had plenty of time and places to visit during our holiday. A few of the places which were my favorite were when we went to the monkey park, crocodile park and snake park. These three were my favourite places to visit.
I found the monkey park very interesting to go to as you had to walk through the park to find the monkeys, there were very tall trees where you could here rustling in the bushes at first as the monkeys were scared to see people but once you opened a bag of monkey nuts they come running out and are all really close to you. You can literally hand them the nut and they will take it out your hand.
When we first went to the crocodile park I was nervous and scared they were going to eat me as my dad told me that they weren’t drugged so they could snap at any moment. My dad sat next to the crocodile and shook its paw which made me feel a little bit better so I went down next to the crocodile and clapped it, the feeling of a crocodile is hard to explain at some parts it can feel wet and gooey but at other parts it feels rough and like tiles as you can feel the gaps between them.
The snake park was also very fun to go to as I didn’t know what I was expecting, we had got a tour around the snake park where the man explained to us what type of snake we were looking at and what they live to do, such as hunting. Once the tour was finished we were taken into a hut which had lots of snakes in cages, the man who was giving us the tour took two of the snakes out of their cages and put them on me and my brother Neil’s neck. It was totally unexpected but at the same time amazing.
When it was time to fly back to Manchester I was very sad because I had so many good memories and didn’t want to leave all the new friends I had made around about the villa which we were staying at. I felt that everyone was really friendly and kind and were really happy although they didn’t really have anything like TVs and phones this really shocked me but at the same time made me really grateful for what I have.